It can be made with many different ingredients. But steak, spicy mustard vinaigrette, and chopped greens are the main things. A nice bottle of wine, a fresh breeze, and golden retrievers are next.What shouldn’t follow is air conditioning and hot water heater failing on the same day. You might know that in order to install a new hot water heater the water itself must be turned off for a few hours. That’s fine if you 1. don’t have to use the bathroom and 2. are going out for dinner.
It’s a bit difficult to make dinner without water, though it’s not something I spend a lot of time thinking about unless I’m camping. Luckily I had a few bottles of water in the garage and I used those to rinse vegetables that hadn’t been washed yet. We took our chances. There was a bit leftover to drink, but naturally there’s always wine at our house.
So try this and I’m in great hopes that you have a fully functioning house when you do… Yes, the ac did get fixed and we had hot water by 9pm.
STEAK-BLUE CHEESE CHOPPED SALAD
2 servings, easily doubled or tripled
Lovely for using up a bit of leftover grilled beef steak. The beauty of the salad is in using what vegetables you have–they’re interchangeable– but also in creating a balance between the cooked or tender and the fresh or crunchy elements. You can make the dressing in the bottom of the bowl, pile the ingredients on top, cover and chill a couple of hours ahead of time, which is perfect for hot summer nights.
SPICY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE:
- 1 tablespoon good quality red wine vinegar
- kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard or choose another brand if needed for Gluten-Free
- 1/4 teaspoon local honey
- 1-2 drops Hot sauce (I like Tabasco)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups chopped fresh greens (I like Romaine.)
- 2 tablespoons minced pitted kalamata olives
- 1/3 cup each: chopped fresh basil and/or chopped fresh parsley, chopped sweet yellow pepper, chopped tomato, crumbled blue cheese (I like Maytag–about 1/4 pound), chopped English cucumber or chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped sautéed mixed onions and red bell peppers or cooked green beans or asparagus
- 4 ounces grilled rare beef steak, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
OPTIONAL: Add a minced scallion or two (or some chopped red onion) if you’re not using cooked onions/peppers.
SPICY MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, along with 1/4 each teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, garlic, red pepper, mustard, honey, and hot sauce. Let sit 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until well integrated or emulsified. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
To the bowl, add the greens, olives, basil and/or parsley, yellow pepper, tomato, blue cheese, cucumber or celery, sautéed onions and red peppers (or cooked beans/asparagus), and beef steak.
If serving immediately, toss very well, but gently, with the juice of the lemon, as well as the vinaigrette. Taste, adjust seasonings, and enjoy cool or at room temperature. If not eating for an hour or two, refrigerate salad and toss with the lemon and vinaigrette just before eating. Serve cold with freshly ground black pepper at the table.
Wine: If you had a hefty red for dinner when you grilled your steak and there’s a bit leftover, that’s the typical ticket. I also like a big oaky American Chardonnay with a salad eaten outdoors like this because 1. it might be too warm for red wine outdoors, 2. I enjoy whites with salad and 3. the Chardonnay is often a large enough wine to stand up to beef.
Dessert: Fresh fruit–some sliced peaches and strawberries.